Lord Howe Island is one step closer to a Hybrid Renewable Energy System which will reduce diesel generation by more than two thirds and improve energy security.
Energy Minister Matt Kean said the Hybrid Renewable Energy System will deliver solar panels and batteries purposely designed for a small and remote location.
“Located in the Tasman Sea 600km from the Australian mainland, Lord Howe Island relies on costly diesel power which is subject to volatility in fuel prices and supply,” Mr Kean said.
“The environmental benefits of this project are both local and national, as every litre of diesel needs to be shipped to the island.
The project includes more than 1.2 MW solar PV array, and integrated control system and battery storage with a capacity of over 3.2 MWh.
The NSW Government has provided a $5.9 million loan facility and the Lord Howe Island Board is providing the balance which will offset diesel generation by more than the original target of 67 per cent.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is also contributing $4.5 million for the development and installation of the system.
The partnership with ARENA means that information about the costs, reliability, operation and maintenance of hybrid renewable energy systems will be made available to assist other remote communities in the future.
A contract has been awarded to Photon Energy Engineering Australia to deliver the project, which is expected to be completed in 2020.
“The completed project will provide a boost to the local economy and to the outstanding environmental credentials of this World Heritage listed island paradise,” Mr Kean said.